Student Health Blog

college student fall thanksgiving break


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Make it Your Best Thanksgiving Break Yet

Thanksgiving break comes at the right time for college students. The fall semester has been dragging on and winter break still seems ages away. So, we get to count down to Thanksgiving break.college student fall thanksgiving break

We all know that Thanksgiving break is the first of a string of holiday meals, parties and wintry snacks. It is hard to survive a Thanksgiving break without feeling a little regret for the calories consumed.

Don’t Fret Over Thanksgiving Break!

Even though you’re sure to indulge a little this coming break, it doesn’t mean you can’t make smart, healthy choices.

Want to come back to campus feeling accomplished and refreshed? Follow these steps for having a healthy and productive break.

Make a Plan

Make your break plans well in advance, so you aren’t stressed. If you can’t make it home to celebrate with family, ask friends what they’re doing. Friends may invite you to their family dinner or you could plan a gathering on your own.

Get Work Done Before Break

Nothing will dampen your break faster than stress. Try to leave the stress behind by making a to-do list and crossing off every item before you leave campus. Think about your papers, studying and assignments. Make a packing and cleaning list to make sure you’re prepared to leave your room for a few days.

Think Healthy

The best way to prepare yourself for a successful break is to focus on healthy decisions. If you head into the break ready to eat in moderation, stay active and prioritize time with friends and family, you’re more likely to stick to your guns.

Make Appointments

Depending on how many days you get off, your Thanksgiving break might be perfect for a few health-related appointments. Maybe you can squeeze a trip to the dentist or get allergy testing to see why you can’t stop sneezing.

Focus on Relationships

No matter where you spend your Thanksgiving break, the best part of the time off is the time spent with loved ones. Don’t let the break go to waste — enjoy the meal with your family, take a walk with a friend, start a pick-up game of basketball, or call a relative you won’t be able to see. You’ll head back to class feeling refreshed after time spent with the ones you’ve been missing.

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Know Your Numbers: Gluten Allergy Testing

Did Mom’s Christmas cookies kill you this year? The past several years have seen a BOOM in gluten-free food options. All of the Celiacs are celebrating their expanded menu selections. Many who’ve never felt well after consuming breads and grains are starting to wonder – do I have a gluten allergy too? Kids, college students and even adults are diagnosed with gluten allergy or gluten intolerance each day. We offer blood tests for those who are curious if they too have this allergy. Test results are encouraged to be reviewed with a physician if levels appear to be not-normal.

How can you test for a gluten allergy?

blood-test-for-gluten-allergy

Christmas cookies kill you this year? You could have a gluten allergy.

A gluten allergy is typically indicated by symptoms like weight loss, stomach problems, bloating and light-colored stools.  The individual with an intolerance is allergic to anything that contains wheat, barley or rye. If not diagnosed properly, individuals can suffer from serious long-term consequences and become malnourished.

There are many ways to test for a gluten allergy. Some physicians do biopsies and other screenings, but at ARCpoint Labs we can help with the blood test portion. Blood tests can determine both Celiac and non-Celiac gluten intolerance. We offer an extensive panel of blood tests that can indicate if certain antibodies (or autoantibodies) are elevated and your body is rejecting gluten. You can request the test yourself, or if a physician has recommend gluten allergy testing, bring us the script and we’ll make sure you test is handled properly.

Blood tests for a gluten allergy

Here are some of the common blood tests we run to determine gluten allergy. We do antibody screens and Celiac profile testing. If you suspect a gluten allergy, come in and we’ll advise you on which tests to run. Or, if you’ve been diagnosed and know what blood test you need, let us collect your blood and promptly deliver the results. Some of the common tests run for gluten allergy include:

  • IgA tTG/ IgG tTG (anti-tissue transglutaminase)
  • IgA EMA (anti-endomysium)
  • IgA/G AGA

What is the normal level for gluten allergy testing?

It’s important to know which lab is running your blood tests. Each lab interprets the results of gluten allergy testing differently and each lab has their own number system they use to determine what is normal and not-normal. Each time you come to ARCpoint Labs, we will make sure the same lab runs your test so that your reports match up and you can compare your levels “apples to apples.”

Celiac & Gluten Sensitivity Allergy Testing in Kansas City

If it’s time to get tested, contact any of our ARCpoint Labs of Kansas City locations for assistance. We don’t require insurance and all of our tests are very affordable. Our trained collectors make the blood draw fast and easy. Our nurse can help you interpret the results and know what to ask your doctor if further evaluation is needed.

Please call us at (785) 371-4739 to learn more or visit any of our three Kansas City ARCpoint Labs locations.


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Study for Finals with a Clear Head

Springtime around the University of Kansas is always full of mixed emotions and feelings. Sure, there’s the whole almost-national basketball champions thing. But then there’s also the weight of finals week coming up right before semester’s end. And in the midst of the beautiful flowers, trees and grasses around the KU campus that have begun to appear, many students are finding themselves absolutely … miserable.

lawrence-ks-allergy-testing

The trees are beautiful, but they can also reap havoc on your spring allergies ... and your focus for final exams!

Spring Allergies

You might have grown up with spring allergies as a child, especially if you’re from the Midwest. However as you reach your college years and beyond, if you didn’t have them as a child, you might notice adult onset allergy symptoms. Typically spring allergy symptoms involve a clear runny nose, itchy eyes and throat, congestion, dark circles under the eyes and even a headache. While some of these could be mistaken as the common cold, if they persist and seem to get worse when the pollen count is high, you’re probably facing spring allergy symptoms.

How to Treat Spring Allergies

Spring allergies don’t really pose a serious threat unless you suffer from asthma, then you need to make sure you’re taking the proper precautions. However what spring allergies can hurt is your focus. Some people can shrug off the runny nose and itchy eyes, but others suffer from drowsiness and headaches. Allergy symptoms can get quite miserable as the pollen counts increase. It’s wise to look into medication and creative ways to ward off symptoms to retain focus for finals week.

Medications for Allergies

Are you hesitant to go on allergy medications because you’re not “for sure” that’s what you have? The first step to take when you suspect you have spring allergies is to get an allergy test. This will conclude if you do or don’t struggle with seasonal spring allergies and help you decide if you need to see a doctor or take over-the-counter medication.

Use your Air Conditioning

Although the cool breezes of spring might be relaxing and calming, they can actually make you feel worse if you have spring allergies. Pollen travels through the air so closing the windows and using the A/C to cool you off will create less problems.

Study Inside

The same goes for choosing where you study. Sure, a blanket on the lawn sounds nice and relaxing but if you’re suffering from pollen produced in trees and/or the grass, steer clear of the outdoors and grab a seat in the library while you’re preparing for final exams this spring.

Be On Guard for Mold

Another spring allergy cause (in addition to pollen) is mold. Dusty dorms and old apartments are places where moisture and mold spores like to hang out. If you’re noticed an increase of symptoms when you spend time in your dorm room or living space, consider requesting that the air conditioner filter be changed or that the apartment manager or residence hall director request a mold test and make sure your room isn’t only comfortable … but safe for you, too.

Hopefully a few of these steps will help you survive finals week if you’re in Lawrence, KS this year and suffering from spring allergies! Good luck!